[mod_python] bye bye mod_python, hello... what?

Graham Dumpleton graham.dumpleton at gmail.com
Sun Jan 17 16:46:27 EST 2010

2010/1/18 Samuel Hazelett <alertmaster at yahoo.com>:
> I am little disappointed in the Apache Software Foundation for having taken
> mod_python under its umbrella only to allow it to wither.

The ASF is a volunteer organisation. You can't therefore blame the
ASF. The problem is that users of mod_python (such as yourself), can't
be bothered contributing to mod_python any more. If you, or anyone
else, is truly passionate about mod_python then all you need to do is
step up and volunteer to take over the project, albeit that any
handover may be problematic due to inactivity of majority of prior
developers. This though isn't insurmountable as that is where the ASF
project management committees would step in and likely assist in
delegating control over to new contributors.

At least in my role as member of the ASF, if I didn't care, I would
have removed myself from the mailing list over 2 years ago when I
stopped being interested in mod_python. Instead I still hang around
here and answer peoples questions.

> If mod_python is moribund, what will happen to Mod_python at modpython.org?

The modpython.org domain is not under the ownership of the ASF anyway,
nor is the content on the site. Both are owned by the original primary
author of mod_python and he is also missing in action. That they are
owned by him and not the ASF is part of the problem. That is, it was
always exceedingly difficult to get anything on that site updated. As
a result, certain things related to the site have decayed over time
and haven't been able to be fixed.

> What's to say the new-fangled API won't suffer a similar fate?

Because it is described by a Python PEP. These are as close as you get
to a standard in the Python world. See:


> If, as you say Doug, WSGI API bridge is a better idea, then I shouldn't
> become/remain a Luddite and I "should get with the program".

It certainly where the mindshare currently is.

> I had brought mod_python into my workplace because of a, perhaps outdated,
> recommedation that it should be coupled with Django.
> With respect to the workplace, I work in a secured lab that makes it a small
> nuisance to bring anything new within its perimeter.
> For this reason, I do most of my learning/experimenting with non-sensitive
> test data on my home desktop.
> Maybe I should drop the Django idea, too. I haven't invested much time in
> it, nor bought the book.

Django is not bound to mod_python. If you had read any books on Django
then maybe you would know this. The Django stack can quite happily run
on top of WSGI hosting mechanisms such as mod_wsgi.

> I see mention of such related s/w as werkzeug, CherryPy, and pythonpaste.
> I'm barely a Python programmer, hand-jamming database connections and HTML
> reports.
> What's a newbie to do?

Keep using Django since you have started with it already. Just read
the hosting documentation for Django and understand that it can run on
various hosting mechanisms.

Other Python web frameworks are WSGI specific, but Django isn't.


> ________________________________
> From: Doug Epling <wdepli at mikrotec.com>
> To: Samuel Hazelett <alertmaster at yahoo.com>
> Cc: Mod_python at modpython.org
> Sent: Sun, January 17, 2010 9:28:32 AM
> Subject: Re: [mod_python] bye bye mod_python, hello... what?
> Samuel Hazelett wrote:
> "unfortunately, mod_python is deprecated"
> What does this mean: deprecated
> Why?
> Does it mean there will be no future releases of mod_python?  The "end of
> history!"
> I was just getting started.  Woe is me/us.
> Yeah, I am the same way, especially, having worked with php some, with
> losing the concept of psp as well as the publisher handler.
> But from what I can tell the WSGI API bridge is a much better idea.
> mod_wsgi is designed to be to python what rails is to ruby.
> Except python is a standards based technology!;-)
> ________________________________
> From: Graham Dumpleton <graham.dumpleton at gmail.com>
> To: clodoaldo.pinto.neto at gmail.com
> Cc: mod_python at modpython.org
> Sent: Tue, January 12, 2010 5:27:34 PM
> Subject: Re: [mod_python] bye bye mod_python, hello... what?
> 2010/1/13 Clodoaldo Neto <clodoaldo.pinto.neto at gmail.com>:
>> 2010/1/12 mog <lists at elasticmind.net>:
>>> So, the time has come. I need to start a new project and also migrate my
>>> old
>>> mod_python stuff to something else :(
>>> After all the sweat, blood and tears I put into learning about how Python
>>> web apps work, learning how to use mod_python, and how to put web apps
>>> together (using mod_python). It's really sad to think that a good portion
>>> of
>>> that effort seems lost because, unfortunately, mod_python is deprecated
>>> :(
>>> I looked at a few web frameworks but found they either simply didn't
>>> work,
>>> exhibited weird random unpredictable behaviour that was impossible to
>>> work
>>> with, or seemed to abstract so far away from real HTTP which made me feel
>>> uncomfortable. I finally settled on mod_python because it seemed to be a
>>> nice balance of powerful functionality and usefulness - oh, and it
>>> worked.
>>> With mod_python I felt as though I was working closely with the HTTP
>>> requests because I could use the request objects directly and, if I
>>> wanted
>>> (and I did), stick stuff in them to use in sessions. mod_python seemed
>>> pretty raw, but not so much so that I had to write my own request
>>> handlers
>>> and all the nitty gritty things like that (which, being new to web
>>> development, was and probably still is beyond my ability to do well and
>>> securely). I liked it because it also provided lots of in-built utilities
>>> making it really easy to do session handling, redirection and so on.
>>> I'm trying to avoid using one of the mainstream frameworks because I feel
>>> they overcomplicate things, bloat things up, and abstract too much away
>>> from
>>> what is really going on. Many of them annoyingly also end up requiring a
>>> bazillion dependencies to install. Personally I like to use small and
>>> compact programs that are really good at doing the small number of things
>>> I
>>> need them to, as opposed to installing some giant application (and all
>>> its
>>> dependencies) that can do everything under the sun I'll never use.
>>> With all this in mind. I was hoping someone would please be so kind as to
>>> recommend things that I could use instead of mod_python as a WSGI layer,
>>> but
>>> that hopefully works in a similar way to mod_python?
>> You could start trying Werkzeug which calls itself "a simple
>> collection of various utilities for WSGI applications".
>> http://werkzeug.pocoo.org/
>> Then WebOb:
>> http://pythonpaste.org/webob/
>> Regarding small and simple I think the two above are some of the best
>> approaches but don't expect something like the mod_python's publisher
>> handler.
> I'd second Werkzeug, but also add 'bobo' which uses Paste but gives
> some simple to use URL dispatch mechanisms.
> Neither have inbuilt session support however, so for that you would
> need to use Beaker.
> Graham
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